FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Border Patrol Van Smuggling Immigrants Into The U.S.?

Jesse Stiller | Contributor

A video on X, formerly Twitter, allegedly shows a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) van crossing the border and smuggling illegal immigrants into the country.

Verdict: False

The video appears to show a van entering through Eagle Pass and transfer custody of arrested illegals for processing, according to Bill Melugin.

Fact Check:

The White House on Jan. 26 stated that President Joe Biden’s administration had begun to negotiate with a bipartisan group of Senators to strike a deal regarding border security, according to a statement from the office. Former President Donald Trump’s influence on the Republican party, however, has caused concern the deal will be killed, ABC News reported.

The video shared on X, formerly Twitter, appears to show footage of a van crossing the southern border and approach another white van. A group of people can be seen offloading on one van and into the other, before the second van drives off. A commenter can be heard claiming that an exchange is taking place.

HOLY SH*T,” the post reads. “Independent journalist @JLRINVESTIGATES just captured live footage of Border Patrol at the southern border smuggling illegals into the U.S.”

The claim is false. Bill Melugin, a reporter for Fox News, stated that what is likely occurring in the video is a transfer of custody between federal agents and Texas authorities.

“This is a BP van in Eagle Pass simply taking custody of illegal immigrants who have already crossed & are being handed off to them by other agents or TX authorities,” The tweet reads in part. “Both of which sometimes drive those white vans. It’s literally just BP picking them up to take them in for processing.”

Melugin stated that, while most of them would be released, the actions in the video do not show “smuggling” as claimed. (RELATED: Did Biden Threaten To ‘Wage War’ Against Texas?)

According to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), A noncitizen caught by (CBP) will be transferred into ICE custody and a determination will be made on their status. Such determinations can include a release with provisions, or outright deportation based on risk assessment. There is no indication that the agency brings immigrants into the country without going through a booking process.

It is a federal responsibility to enforce U.S. immigration laws. U.S. Border Patrol continues to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Migrants who cross the Rio Grande from Mexico to Texas are on U.S. soil and subject to U.S. immigration laws,” a CBP spokesperson told Check Your Fact via email. 

“Those who cross unlawfully are subject to the lawful pathways rule, which places common-sense conditions on asylum eligibility, with certain exceptions. Migrants who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed.  The fact remains: the United States continues to enforce immigration law, and our borders are not open for those without a legal basis to enter the country. Migrants attempting to enter without authorization are subject to removal under Title 8 authorities,” the spokesperson continued.

Check Your Fact has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for comment and will update this article if a response is recorded.

UPDATE: This article has been updated with a comment from a CBP spokesperson.

Jesse Stiller